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The best New York pizzas

Our five-borough tour of the best New York pizza skips from legendary institutions to new-wave joints. Here are the reigning pies in Gotham.

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
The best New York Pizza: Margherita pizza at Keste

In 1905, Lombardi's opened as New York's first pizzeria, bringing the simple dish to Gotham’s Italian restaurants. Owner Gennaro Lombardi helped train a generation of pizzaioli, dispatching thin-crust acolytes all over the city. The onetime exotic immigrant food quickly became synonymous with Gotham, and arguing over the city’s best pizza has become a classic New York pastime. With that in mind, we trekked all over town to find out if old favorites still lived up to their reputation and if new pizzerias could rise to the fierce competition. Here are the best New York pizza spots.

RECOMMENDED: See more of the best pizza in NYC

The best New York pizza ranked

1

Classic pie at Di Fara Pizza

Bow down, ladies and gentlemen. The king is an exquisite blend of bright plum-tomato sauce, puddles of rich buffalo mozzarella, zesty sausage, peppers and onions, all topped with drizzled olive oil from a copper pot and snipped basil leaves. Watching living legend Domenico DeMarco concoct his signature pie is damn near theatrical—if a bit on the long side. The hike for many of us to this no-frills Midwood spot will take a while. But trust us—one bite is worth the wait. $32.

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Brooklyn
2

Classic pie at Rubirosa

The crisp throwback crusts, crowned with subtly sweet marinara and fresh mozzarella, are barely thicker than the paper plates your usual dollar slices are served on—but don’t write this pie off because it’s so damn pliable. (We’ll let deep-dish–lovin’ Chicagoans do that.) The nuanced za at this rustic Nolita eatery is a family affair too—it’s from Angelo Pappalardo, who learned the art of thin crust as a kid at his father’s Staten Island stalwart, Joe and Pat’s. $25.

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Nolita
3

Margherita at Kesté

The Neapolitan round on offer at Roberto Caporuscio’s West Village pizzeria is as exemplary a pie as you’re likely to find outside Naples—not surprising, considering Caporuscio grew up on a dairy farm an hour outside the city. It’s all about quality sourcing—San Marzano tomatoes, house-pulled mozz and a puffy, chewy crust built with Caputo 00 flour. We’re happy as hell you crossed the pond, dude. $13. 

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West Village
4

Pie with basil at Lucali

Chef/owner Mark Iacono’s next-generation pizzeria in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens has attracted za cognoscenti and celebrity admirers alike (sup, Bey and Jay?), and for good reason: Lucali’s basic pie with basil is a tour de force, with a wide, char-pocked crust capped in garlic-zapped sauce, buffalo and low-moisture mozzarellas, whisper-thin ribbons of Parmigiano-Reggiano and aromatic rosettes of basil. $24.

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Carroll Gardens
5

Margherita at Totonno’s

Coal-fired blisters, spotted pools of house-made mozzarella and just the right amount of sauce (read: not much at all) keep us coming back to this 91-year-old Coney Island joint. Anthony “Totonno” Pero’s main attraction is a thing of beauty—perfectly served on a Styrofoam plate. $19.50.

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Brooklyn
6

Clam pie at Franny’s

New Haven may have invented the clam pie, but Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens’s New York pizzeria damn sure perfected it. The gorgeous version here boasts a deep flavor, and the secret’s all in the sauce: The bivalves are plumped up in a white-wine reduction that’s then thickened with heavy cream and spread atop a crisp, AP-flour–based crust. With zippy chiles and a generous sprinkling of parsley, this is one pie to clamor over (yeah, we went there). $19.

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Prospect Heights
7

Hot Supreme at Margot’s

There are few things we love more than a critic turned pro. From 2003 to 2014, Adam Kuban made a name for himself as the founder of beloved pizza blog Slice. Since then, he’s put his own slinging skills to the test, launching a weekend bar-pie pop-up inside Clinton Hill pizzeria Emily that regularly sells out months in advance. This mouth-tingling number builds on a well-done, credit-card–thin crust with Romano cheese, garlic-fennel sausage, pickled jalapeños and shaved red onions—a combo that’s launched this new pizzaiolo into the city’s pizza pantheon. $25.

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Clinton Hill
8

Pepperoni pie at Joe’s

A Greenwich Village institution since Pino “Joe” Pozzuoli opened his doors in 1975, this pocket-sized pizzeria excels in the quintessential New York slice, with its pliant yet cracker-thin undercarriage, slightly sweet sauce and a blanket of drippy, fresh mozzarella—big rounds of pepperoni are the metaphorical cherry on top. Stock up on drinks, though: The high demand means you’re almost always guaranteed a just-made one that will burn your tongue. $24.

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West Village
9

Coal-oven Margherita at Patsy’s Pizzeria

The slices of Margherita at this 1933 East Harlem original are super thin and shorter than you’ll typically find, which means the average person—okay, fine, we—can easily wolf down five to six slices each, especially when they’re fresh from the oven with that bubbling, browned cap of creamy mozzarella beneath that zippy sauce. $18.

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East Harlem
10

Bee Sting at Roberta's

Carlo Mirarchi knows how to mess around. His Neapolitan pies sport witty names (Spudnik Cheesus Christ) and even more playful toppings, but our favorite is the takeout- and delivery-only Bee Sting, a salty-sweet blend of oven-crisped sopressata, crushed tomatoes, punchy chile and, the kicker, a few sticky swirls of honey that masterfully cut the spice and savoriness of the salami. Sometimes it pays to stay in. $16.

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Williamsburg
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See readers' picks of the best pizzas

The people’s picks for the 25 best pizzas in New York

Shocking news! New Yorkers love to argue about pizza. Who knew? Well, everyone, obviously—that’s why, when we presented our list of the 25 best New York pizzas, we also asked you guys to rearrange the list as you saw fit. Here are the results.

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By: Time Out New York contributors

Comments

37 comments
Elias R
Elias R

I have been searching all over for New York style pizza in my hometown. It's taken quite a while but I have found a place much like the second suggestion on here. Like you said, their specialty is sweet marinara and fresh mozzarella. The simple but excellent ingredients are a mark of a great pizza. New York gets it done right.

 http://www.dulonospizza.com 

Ronnie D
Ronnie D

Keste's Margherita isn't the best Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples - Luzzos' is. Couple that with the fact that you don't even mention Luzzo's, and you've got a pretty lackluster and unqualified list. 

Gene C
Gene C

They hit the nail on the head with Louie & Ernies in the Bronx. All their pies are great but the sausage pie featured in this article is awesome. Forget those hipster losers in Brooklyn. Take a trip up to The Bronx

9toejoe
9toejoe

Not on the list is prince street pizza and artichoke, these places are awesome

Kathy P
Kathy P

Joe's on Carmine Street is still the best.  I don't know how anyone can possibly patronize Di Fara in Brooklyn -- they are the nastiest people in all of Brooklyn.  Their pizza cannot be good enough to make up for the awful people that run the place -- skip it!

Nadia I
Nadia I

Given that America is really bad at making cheese, I don't think the pizzas here can ever match up to the real pizzas of Italy!

Lee H
Lee H

@Nadia I Don't ever speak ill of America and her cheeses. USA USA USA.

Rebecca C
Rebecca C

HELL YEA @ Roberta's, L&B's and Di Fara! I want to like Totonno but their pies are flavorless and soggy.

Talmage D
Talmage D

I agree that New York has some of the best pizzas in the country. I"m going out there in a couple of weeks, and I'm really looking forward to the food. I'm glad that I was able to find a couple of new places as well. It's always fun to try new kinds of pizza. http://www.alfapizza.ca/about_us.html

Ronnie D
Ronnie D

@Talmage D New York doesn't have "some" of the best pizzas in the country - it has MOST of the best pizzas in the country, as well as the whole world. Go to other states and they barely even have "pizza" outside of Pizza Hut and Dominoes.

Our M
Our M

I would quite happily eat anyone of those pizzas but Kesté are my favourite!

Steve K
Steve K

Is there a special reason that you buried the addresses SO completely?

Omar A
Omar A

Shame on you! Not having Lomabrdi's in the list is a sin!

T G
T G

Hipster heavy. Only one place from the Bronx mentioned? Disgraciad....

Jeff P
Jeff P

By far the best pizza in NYC is at a place not on this list.  And since it's small, and I go there often, there is no way I'm sharing it here.  Tough luck suckers.

Paulie Bag 'A Donuts in Brooklyn
Paulie Bag 'A Donuts in Brooklyn

You are looking for trouble with a list like this one. So many undeserving pies here, and many glaring omissions (New Park, Juliana's, etc.). Definitely a marketing/PR agenda being served here by the magazine. L&B Spumoni Gardens is mentioned though, as is Difara, Patsy's East Harlem and others. Sal's & Carmine's is still good by the way, but only when Carmine is there. Motorino should not be in the mix at all, and some of the others are truly awful.

frank lamotta
frank lamotta

Awesome Pizza!!! Definitely have to try it...Best in New York!!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Luzzo pizza is I have tried johns & difara but Luzzo definitely was my favorite the best pizza I've ever had.

Paul
Paul

I've tried motorino , Napoli 28, johns bleeker , etc. and so far the best of all was Luzzo's the pizza is incredible

Frank
Frank

Luzzo's definitely the best pizza I've been everywhere in the city I'm a pizza lover. And Luzzo is the best I've ever had

Matthew
Matthew

Luzzo's is by far the best pizza in New York not just in the city it's traditional Neapolitan pizza where pizza was invented so if you want to know what real pizza is supposed to taste like Luzzo's is definitely the best place to go. And to the guy who mentioned new park pizza in Howard beach should get his head checked because new park shouldn't even be in the top 50 best. It's ok but no where near the best

john
john

The best pizza is Luzzo in NYC every place associated with luzzo group has by far the best pizza

tracy
tracy

the BEST pizza in all of nyc is campo di fiori, in park slope. authentic, good. no bs.

Ken Kelso
Ken Kelso

Hi, my favorite Pizza places in NY are, Brothers in Fresh Meadows, Amore in Flushing. Lucia's in Flushing, Pizza Suprema in Manhattan and Patsy’s. I haven't tried Difara's yet.

KarenatashaB
KarenatashaB

@Ken Kelso I grew up with Brothers. Is it still there? Really?

John
John

There are at least 5 pizzerias better than Motorino's within 2 blocks. People just mention it because it was a favorite of Rachel Ray's. It's really just a blob of undercooked dough. I like Luzzo's a lot, but my favorite is No. 28's pepperoni pizza (preferably a round pie, not a rectangle). I think they put a little pepperoni juice in the sauce. Their other pizzas are good as well.

Cisco
Cisco

TERRIBLE!!!! I agree with Robert A that apparently, the editor was "unwilling to travel outside of young hipster areas". Also, I live across the street from Sal and Carmines and they're awful. I'm sure they used to be good, but nowadays it's a shanty pizza joint with pizza that's been sitting for hours. Honestly, sounds like the editor googled his facts instead of actually trying the pizza. TERRIBLE!~ TimeoutNY just lost it's credentials.

robert a
robert a

Apparently, the editor was unwilling to travel outside of young hipster areas to write this article. How bout L&B in Gravesend. Bet that she doesn't even know what borough Gravesend is in.

Ronnie D.
Ronnie D.

Artichoke's MARGHERITA pizza is in the top 15, but not even a MENTION of Luzzo's in the East Village; clearly an amateur pizza eater is behind this.

Guest
Guest

This list is a joke without New Park Pizza in Howard Beach

Steven Miglio
Steven Miglio

Pasta la pizza,baby(formally Pontillos) has the best New York style pizza and unbelievable other dishes... Not mention catering by Pasta Fazul's Fazul himself... Try it and if you like it tell your friends and family... If you don't "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT"

Steven Miglio
Steven Miglio

Pasta la pizza,baby(formally Pontillos) has the best New York style pizza and unbelievable other dishes... Not mention catering by Pasta Fazul's Fazul himself... Try it and if you like it tell your friends and family... If you don't "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT"

Tony
Tony

Please per piacere per favore per carita per baco. Leave italian pia alone. Uffa Merida secca pizza ok

Marissa
Marissa

I agree wholeheartedly with Holly. VIPizza in Bayside definitely does not get the recognition it deserves.

pizzafan
pizzafan

This system isn't even based on the same type of pizza. it goes from traditional to the overpriced fancy pies. Have a rating based on the standard margarita of each place. its an unfair rating. TONY you disappoint me.

Holly
Holly

Your reviewers seem to go back to the same old, same old places in the boroughs, like Nicks, which is fine but try the Margarita at VIPizza on Bell Blvd in Bayside and report back.